Buyer's Guide: High-End SOHO - August 2002by Matthew Witheiler on August 2, 2002 1:19 AM EST
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Today we embark on the second type of system we cover in the AnandTech Buyer's Guides, the high-end system configurations. This is our fourth buyer's guide in four weeks, keeping in line with the initial promise we made at that time:
What we will keep doing is bringing you up to date system configuration suggestions on the type of system that you are interested in. Although it is impossible to suggest a single configuration for each individual in each situation, what we can and will do is provide you with recommendations towards a system setup; recommendations which can be altered appropriately for each user's specific needs. We will do what we have always done in buyer's guides: spec out a system using reliable components from reputable vendors. Remember, these prices are not necessarily the lowest prices on the web but are meant to be representative of what is out there and representative of what we think is the best solution in one of the six categories.
Changing this time around will be the format of the buyer's guides. We will maintain the six specific categories, value SOHO, value gaming, value professional 3D, high-end SOHO, high-end gaming, and high-end professional 3D, but this time around the recommendations will not be lumped together. Instead, we will be publishing one recommendation from each category weekly. We kicked off the buyer's guide with the value SOHO category and continue this week with the value gaming category. After the value and high-end recommendations are made we will do one article on a dream configuration. At this rate, new recommendations for each system will come every eight weeks so in eight weeks from today you can expect an updated value gaming buyer's guide. Not only does this keep the system recommendations fresher, it also keeps the price estimates more accurate.
Every component in a recommend system, from case to monitor, is covered. The only hidden costs are shipping costs, which can add anywhere from 5% to 10% to the total system cost depending on what you get and from where. The best way to keep shipping costs down is to order as much as possible from a single vendor or pick things up locally. Be sure to take a look at the AnandTech Hot Deals Forum to see if any AnandTech readers have posted a special deal on a piece of hardware in the recommended system. Also be sure to check out our Weekly CPU & Video Card Price Guide and our Weekly Memory & Motherboard Price Guide to see if prices have been updated since the buyer's guide was last posted.
Like before, an OS for each system is recommended but the OS price is not included in the final system price listed.
Ok, for the next three weeks we will be building systems that target the high-end market of what they are designed to do. What exactly is a high-end system? Well it is a system that can get the job done fast while still remaining somewhat reasonably price. Obviously we could configure every high-end system in the same manner with the fastest and greatest in computer hardware but such a system is not very realistic. Instead we leave the best of the best where it belongs, in our dream system buyer's guide. We have to remain somewhat price conscious when building our high-end systems. In our high-end buyer's guide we try to configure the best possible system for each environment without incurring outrageous costs.
We start today with the SOHO environment. Of paramount concern in the SOHO world is getting work done fast. This means that our high-end system must be speedy enough to tackle today's most intensive tasks while still maintaining speed to run the applications and operating systems of tomorrow. Obviously system stability is a big concern when data and up time are critical.